The Scrutineering Process For A Motorcycle 15/05/2020
Find out about the process undertaken by Scrutineers when checking to see if a bike is safe for hitting the track. Safety first!

We live in a regulated world where the implication of a small speed infringement can be harsh. The racetrack is where we can experience the performance of our motorcycles in a controlled environment.

For people new to the track, other than the excitement of the impending adrenaline rush it is usual to have a case of the nerves.

Nerves are about your concerns for personal safety. The place to start to ensure that you are as safe as possible and to make the most of your day is by making sure your motorcycle is in tip top condition. Not only does it decrease your personal risk but also the risk of fellow riders around you. This is why scrutineering is so important.

What is scrutineering?

Scrutineering is the process of ensuring your bike is fit for you to ride on track. If you were to attend a race event the level of compliance for scrutineering differs from a school day or ride day. Event organisers usually list the minimum requirements either on their website or on entry documentation. Be sure to check your bike meets the minimum requirements before attending an event! Here is what the process entails and how your bike gets checked to ensure it’s safe to ride and has been properly maintained.

The scrutineering process:

A trained Scrutineer will undertake a thorough inspection of the bike and determine if it’s safe to ride.

Step 1.

First up, the Scrutineer will check all the controls to ensure that everything operates freely and nothing is jammed or sticks. This includes checking the throttle return, brake lever function and gear shifter. Pegs need to be secure and hand grips need to be well adhered to the bars.

Step 2.

Next up will likely be the steering head bearings, front forks and the fork seals. The steering head needs to move freely, the forks are checked to ensure free movement and compliance under compression and rebound. The fork seals are inspected closely for any leaks.

Step 3.

After this, the brake pads will be inspected to see ensure that the minimum brake pad thickness is available. While most brake pads will wear down over time, the demands of the race track mean that more pad will likely be used in a day than in 3 months of normal road riding. While the front brakes are most commonly used at the track, the rear brake pads will also be checked.

Step 4.

The rear suspension will be checked for compliance along with chain tension and condition. It is important that your chain is regularly oiled to prolong life and to ensure that there are no seized links. A tight or seized chain puts unnecessary stress on your bike and may lead to a chain breakage.

Step 5.

Next, the Scrutineer will check either side of the engine to ensure that all surrounding casings are in good shape and that there are no oil leaks. Fairings and other items will be checked to ensure all fixings are tight and nothing is loose or likely to cause an issue.

Step 6.

Lastly, the tyres will be checked. The tyre contact patch is all there is between your bike and the road surface. Worn tyres offer significantly less grip than new tyres. The minimum tread requirement for a day will vary event to event. But the minimum is usually 2mm over the whole tyre. Tyres that have ridden many motorway miles also develop flat spots, these significantly affect the handling of your bike when cornering. A new set of tyres is a cheap investment compared to the cost of crashing your bike due to poor or worn tyres.

Your bike failing to meet any of the above requirements will likely render it unsuitable for riding. That is why it is important that you ensure your bike is in good condition prior to turning up at an event.

Some events scrutineer a rider's gear including leathers, helmets, boots, gloves, back and chest protectors. Appropriate gear is essential to minimise risk in the event of an off.

The final word

It is the riders responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others to check the event organisers specific requirements and ensure their bike is in suitable condition for the event being undertaken, if in doubt talk to your local bike shop mechanic so that you get to relax and enjoy your day at the event.

Keen to master the Art of Cornering?

If you’re keen to master riding or if you are a novice and just want to understand how to be safer and smoother, the team here at California Superbike School would love to meet you. Regardless of your level of experience, our dedicated instructors will teach you the basics all the way through to perfecting your technique. Contact us today to book your place by calling 0456 005 554 or sending an email to

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